Brew Review-Big Sky Heavy Horse Scotch Ale
During a recent trip to Montana, I had the opportunity to try several offerings from Big Sky (bigskybrew.com). As I was the only person on this trip born in the last 40 years, I had to endure endless heckling over getting carded when we went to dinner, but overall Big Sky made it worth it. Going into this beer, I’ll confess to not knowing anything about Big Sky, or any of their beers. For that matter, I’d never even heard of the brewery, but Big Sky was the only thing listed under micro-brews, it seemed a reasonable choice. Given that this was Montana, and the restaurant was called the Naughty Moose, my expectations were not that high.
The beer arrived poured with a pretty modest head, with a clear, really deep ruby colour that was very impressive. The scent was lightly malty, with something sweet I couldn’t pinpoint, and of course a strong smell of alcohol. It’s slightly malty – in a good way – has a good sweet flavour, more molasses than caramel I think, and has a slight hint of a fruity undertone. Overall the taste was solid, but underwhelming. The most impressive part of the beer is the handling of the alcohol. Just as the fruit and sweet finish clearing off your tongue, you get hit with a pretty reasonable taste of alcohol. I was really worried it was going to dominate the aftertaste, like lesser scotch ales, and linger way to long. But somehow, Big Sky nailed this, and the alcohol taste quickly evaporates in a sweet, more caramel now, creamy finish. I couldn’t help but admire the work more as I went through the glass.
I could easily drink more than one of these a night, and I think it’s a solid “fall” beer that gives a change of pace from all the pumpkin ales and Marzen’s floating about.